WSP USA, in joint venture with Bovis Lend Lease, served as consultant construction manager (CCM) to MTACC, ensuring that construction was carried out in accordance with the approved design, and advising MTACC on issues that arose during construction.
Given the complexity of the new structure, and the need to maintain 24/7 passenger access to all subway lines, managing the construction process posed a number of challenges.
Before construction could begin on the main structure, four existing buildings had to be demolished. Meanwhile, an adjoining building— the 125-year-old Corbin Building—was rehabilitated to become part of the Fulton Center complex.
“Integrating an historic century-old office building with a modern, state-of-the-art transit and retail hub presented significant challenges for both our design and construction teams,” says Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTACC.
One of the major challenges during construction was consolidating multiple communications systems—for functions such as fire alarm, public address, and smoke exhaust—into a central command center in the new building. Other problems were posed by the need for construction crews to work around temporary corridors and covered passageways that were constantly in use by subway patrons.
Another vexing issue was installing the central architectural feature—the Sky Reflector-Net, which required crews to perform intricate construction while suspended in air. The artwork was constructed relatively early in the process and as a result acquired a thick layer of dust and dirt as construction progressed.
The initial cleaning of the sculpture left streaks and discoloration, which caused concern that the aesthetics of the building would be compromised. But after experimentation with various techniques, an effective cleaning process was developed, and the Sky Reflector-Net has emerged, as intended, as the focal point of the Fulton Center.